Letting the kids make decisions for themselves

 is a learning experience for us (the parents.)

Due to a rained out baseball game Alex “s team had a make up game Saturday. Saturday is when Alex and Melinda have their swim meets. Alex does not need to improve his times to qualify for the varsity swim meet but we thought he would want to beet some of his own time’s. Alex also knows and gets along with the kids on the swim teem better than the baseball team. We were hoping (kind of) that he would want to go tot the swim meet. But he decided to go to the base ball game, a little surprising. This was also a bit inconvenient for us as now we would have to split up and go to two different places. Selfish on our part but we actually get to talk to each other during the swim meets – a rare thing these days. We also like bragging about how well he does with his swimming. It was not easy but we resisted the temptation to tell him to go o his swim meet. Putting our selfishness aside we let him decide and baseball was the choice.

His teem is struggling to under stand tactics of the game and most of the kids need a lot more practice on the basics (including Alex) but this is one of the reasons he wanted to do baseball. I would like to see him be a little more assertive and less timed around his team mates so this is probably a good thing for him. As far as the game went – they lost. Alex made it to home plate twice but did not get the score. His first time didn’t count because the other teem got out the batter (third out) than he was tagged out on the last run. He thinks he made it but who could say for sure as the dust hid what happened. I told him to try to be happy with just getting on base and into the game as many of the players did not. I know it is difficult for him to play a game that takes time and is not always moving, but he is hanging in their.

More decisions for Alex during the game.  

 Do I swing or not?   The other teems pitcher was good but had trouble adjusting to Alex’s left hand swing so he walked Alex twice. Alex wanted desperately to swing but knew to let them go by. 


Do I steal or not?

Go for it and third was his.  


Off to home!!!   Should have been a run.  next game it will be. 

 some good out-fielding!!

I am happy that we let him go to the baseball game!!!



Melinda did well at the swim meet but hit her head on the wall during her backstroke. She said she counted the strokes during warm up but when she counted them during the race she was off by one. She did place (she thinks) even with the head bumping. Next Saturday I should be their to watch her race.  I feel a little guilty not being at her race but I make it to most and I have not yet figured out how to be in two places at one time.  

Startting Summer

A very eventful weekend (Last week) – Saturday was the first swim meet of the year. Alex won one of his races with ease (evidently). I had clients and was not able to watch most of the days events but was able to see the last couple of races.  That parent guilt – I know I can not possibly make it to everything but I try to make it to most of their events. Yota  (Pattie) and grandma Judy were both able to be their. Both Alex and Melinda ended the morning with a relay race. These last races went well and put Melinda in a better mood as she was upset about not doing as well as she thought she should in an earlier race. The ups and downs of competing.
Sunday morning we made it to Elitch’s (before the afternoon rain’s) and Melinda took her first ride on a roller coaster. She was not too sure about it and I had to encourage her strongly to give it a try. I told her that if I screamed she was not to tell anyone but I doubt that she knew if I screamed or not. Melinda spent most of the ride looking at the floor of the car but afterwards having lived through it she seemed happy to have made it through this mile stone. We will see if she will trust that she can live through it again because I plan on getting her on the ride again. We also tried a couple of water rides. Once I got home I realized that I had lost my keys (most likely in the water). Not the end of the world but it puts a damper on the lecture’s I give the kids about being responsible and not loosing their key’s.


Yesterday, Melinda turned nine years old – She said it was the best yet, at least for her. Our children do not need any thing – yet I find myself worrying that if we do not make certain days special and memorable that some how we are failures as parents.  It seems a silly self inflected guilt yet it also seems fairly universal.  At any rate, Melinda had a great couple of days.  We skied a few runs Saturday morning (it was freezing cold) before coming home and having one of Melinda’s friends dropped off.   Her pest of a brother was picked up to spend a fun night at his friend’s house.  Pattie and I took the girls out to dinner and we think they may have actually got to sleep by about 11:00 pm.    In the morning, Kalian and Brendan were dropped off so they could go to the movies with the girls and Melinda’s friend Brian.   At the theater another friend and grandpa Pat and grandma Judy joined them.  After the movie, it was home for pizza, cake, and presents.  And yes, Alex showed back up for the pizza and then he and Kalian and Brendan went to their house to play.  



Alex came home at one point and seeing a present bag on the kitchen counter he asked, “What is that? Is it for me?”  “I (with a look of puzzlement) asked; is it your birthday?”  He looked at me as if to say it is always my birthday and I should be getting something. They both seem to have more toys and things than they could possibly utilize in a lifetime of 24 hour a day play, yet it is not enough.


As for Melinda’s loot, she received more than enough, even though we had not gotten her anything to open, including money.   After everyone had gone Pattie took her shopping to spend some of the money that was burning a hole in the pocket of her new outfit.   When they finally came home I was asked, “Do you notice anything?”  Having some experience in dealing with this, trap door, question I smiled and said yes immediately hopping to stall for time.   It worked as Melinda turned her head I could see the new earrings.  Mom had let her get her ears pierced   This is a bit younger than I thought we had agreed upon but I was prepared for that possibility when they left as the subject had come up a few times during the day.   Melinda has been very pleased that mom let her do it and is feeling very grown-up. 

While at school, the first day with her new beautiful earrings. Melinda asked her friend Brian if he noticed anything different and he did not.  I picked them up after school and when I saw Brian he still had the look of terror and confusion on his face.  I have a healthy fear of the women in our house so I dare not help him – he will have to figure this out on his own.   I do not want to distroy the fact that for now Pattie and I are heroes for letting her have her ears pierced earlier than she thought – for that matter earlier than I thought.

So afraid to take the leap.

Dad slipped and decided to let her off the hook this time – but part of the reality of it all is that she does probably ski better than kids her age.  That means, kids her age would be in ski lessons while she is out with all the big kids.  She just needs to spend time with kids her age.  Who is this?  Not Panayota but Melinda.  After committing and being quite excited about skiing with the local recreation center next year, Melinda bailed out with big crocodile tears.  Are we actually holding her back from being all she can be?  Is she really shy?  What is being shy?  Oh, the tug of the heart when your child is crying saying, “No, I don’t want to do it.”  Who is really growing?  She can really ski the pants off people but I guess we will wait for her fears to subside.  Kind of reminds me of how she has not gone to one birthday party from all the invites at the new school.  She is too afraid to take a leap.  Hopefully, she will outgrow it.

Its Mom’s fault

The seemingly endless number of fears that pop up – how much sympathy? How much empathy? How much help? How much tough love? Melinda has at this time in her life a growing number of little phobias.   One that has become of particular annoyance is her fear of the bathroom – in our own house.  Evidently a spider was in our bathroom once upon a time and a young girl that has never before showing fear of bugs of any kind, including spiders, has been afraid of the bathroom ever sense.   Actually, Panayota says that her fear is because her brother scared her saying monsters are in the bathroom.  This fear becomes draining as we try to get her to brush her teeth and Melinda fights going into the bathroom to do this simple chore.  I tell her she must go and she tries to avoid it and tries to force mom to go with her.  Some how being ten feet away is not close enough.  For awhile Panayota indulged this needy act but recently has started to tell her she would be just fine by herself (time for a little tough love).   I am the parent that told her that she needed to brush her teeth but for some reason it is Panayota’s fault.  Melinda was upset about having to brush her teeth and it was Mom’s fault because she didn’t go with her.  What a lacking compassion person – I mean Mom.